BBC-Four_mediumBBC Four is to air two new comedy series the corporation has announced with Up The Women and Quick Cuts.

Up The Women has been written by and stars Jessica Hynes of Twenty Twelve and Quick Cuts is written by Georgia Pritchitt of Smack The Pony fame, the show also stars Doon Mackichan.

Mark Freeland, Head of BBC In-house Comedy Production, says of Up The Women, “If I wore a big hat with fruit on it and a hooped skirt, I would laugh them both off. Jessica Hynes has created a wonderful comic world, where over their embroidery, life is about to change for the women of Banbury.”

It’s 1910 and Margaret (Hynes) has been to London and discovered the Women’s Suffrage movement. She decides they need to set up their own movement in Banbury, and ‘The Banbury Intricate Craft Circle’, based in the church hall, becomes the ineffectual ‘Banbury Intricate Craft Circle politely request women’s Suffrage’. Gwen (Vicki Pepperdine) is the only member who actually enjoys the craft element of the meetings, while Helen (Rebecca Front) thinks that craft is, a little, unnecessary, but she’s not interested in women’s rights: “What on earth do women need a vote for? My husband votes for who I tell him to vote for. What could be a better system than that?”

Henry Normal, Baby Cow Productions, says, “It’s such an honour to be involved in the filming of one of the last shows to filmed at BBC TV Centre and to be working with Jess Hynes, Mark Freeland, Chris Gernon and the rest of the team.”

Quick Cuts  is a fast-paced, quick-cutting sitcom crossed with a sketch show, set in a hairdressing salon.

Kristian Smith, Executive Editor, Comedy Commissioning, says, “Quick Cuts is a fresh and inventive new comedy: part sitcom, part broken comedy, it follows the exploits of the staff in a hair and beauty salon. The brilliant cast of both familiar and newer faces, led by the brilliant Doon Mackichan, bring Georgia Pritchett’s imaginative and energetic situations to life. We’re thrilled to be bringing more original comedy like Quick Cuts and Up the Women to BBC Four.”

The owner of Quick Cuts is Sue (Mackichan), who turns a blind eye to the various faults, failings and eccentricities of her staff (played by Jess Gunning, Lucinda Dryzek, OT Fagbenle and Jane Dowden). Together with Sue’s relentlessly crooked boyfriend Trevor (Paul Reynolds), they are one big dysfunctional family.

The narrative sitcom element of Quick Cuts follows the lives of the staff while the sketch element will be the encounters between the customers and the hairdressers with the camera acting as the mirror in the shop.

Catherine Bailey, Catherine Bailey Productions, says: “The combination of Georgia Pritchett’s beautifully structured narrative and cast workshops has produced a highly entertaining look at the world within a salon. With situations and jokes that are universal in their appeal, Quick Cuts is fast-paced and original in its approach to comedy.”

[Reported by Mike Watkins]

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